Skip to main content

Reducing food waste to increase sustainability in tourism

Example description

This Example on Reducing food waste to increase sustainability in tourism comes from a Finnish shipping company Viking Line, which has taken many steps in its operation to increase sustainability and, also, to protect the Baltic Sea.

Viking Line is a company that provides passenger and cargo carrier services using the vessels Gabriella, Viking Cinderella, Viking Glory, Viking Grace and Viking XPRS. It serves on routes Turku – Mariehamn (Åland Islands) – Stockholm (Sweden), Helsinki – Mariehamn – Stockholm, and Helsinki Tallinn (Estonia). The company transports over 6 million passengers, over 100 000 cargo units, and over 700 000 cars each year on its routes. So, efforts to try to reduce food waste could not be better targeted. The described case study, a pilot project, took place on the vessel M/S Mariella.

The pilot project comprises simple measures to reduce food waste in tourism enterprises. It is an example from a large-scale company but some of the performed measures are something one could do in any size tourism enterprises, or even at home.

The majority of the meals served on board were prepared in the central kitchen. During the project, the waste bins in the kitchen were equipped with scales to measure the food wasted. A computer software helped to categorize, weigh, and record the waste. The main reason to enable the reduction was, however, the increased efficiency of kitchen procedures. The staff paid more attention to the amounts prepared. In addition, the presentation and serving size of the dishes was rethought in order to reduce the plate waste. A good example of this comes from the buffet restaurant where they started to make ready-made portions of the main courses as people tend to take more than they can eat. Another way of saving food (and money) was to use, for example, the left-over boiled potatoes for different kinds of delicious side dishes for the dinner. Something one also does at home.

One of the most effective measures was actually to put a sign on the buffet table telling exactly how much food was wasted the day before. It got people thinking!

All these measures taken did not compromise the quality, freshness, nor availability of food, quite the opposite.


Viking Line. Pilot project on Viking Line’s Mariella cut the food waste with 40 percent.